Posted by: DCox | November 15, 2009

Fractured and Flawed

In several recent blogs, I’ve talked about being safe in the church. If you’re a follower of Jesus, then you are a part of this thing called the Church – the group of all believers throughout history and manifesting itself in a variety of ways locally over the centuries.

Yet if you don’t feel safe in the local expression of the church – which I would suggest is more about how the church has assimilated the greater culture, than it is about the failings of specific local churches – then the result is a split within the self. I am a member of the Church, yet I feel varying levels of discomfort there. I’m fractured because out of fear I avoid something I’m called to be part of. Some of my greatest wounding has happened there and yet it also has the potential to bring transformative healing.

I’ll continue this discussion in another blog. Right now I want to share part of a poem that talks to me about embracing my own flaws and experiencing the pain of aloneness that comes with that experience … and eventually coming out the other side. Coming out the other side to experience the unconditional love of God the Father and knowing that my own wounds and those I’ve inflicted are part and parcel of the creature that is loved by the Father.

The Faces at Braga by David Whyte

wood face…. If only our faces
would allow the invisible carver’s hand
to bring the deep grain of love to the surface

If only we knew
as the carver knew, with the flaws
in the wood led his searching chisel to the very core,

we would smile too
and not need faces immobilized
by fear and the weight of things undone.

When we fight with our failing
we ignore the entrance to the shrine itself
and wrestle with the guardian, fierce figure on the side of good.

And as we fight
our eyes are hooded with grief
and our mouths are dry with pain.

If only we could give ourselves
to the blows of the carver’s hands,
the lines in our faces would be the trace lines of rivers
feeding the sea
where voices meet, praising the features
of the mountain and the cloud and the sky.

Our faces would fall away
until we, growing younger toward death
everyday, would gather our flaws in celebration

to merge with them perfectly,
impossibly, wedded to our essence,
full of silence from the carver’s hands.


  1. The Church mirrors humanity and God. As we can see from scripture the Church and in the pages of scripture provide us with evidence of multiple woundings. The question is God’s intent vs. humanities outcome. God’s intent is to heal the brokeness in creation and to bring wholeness to humanity. The Kingdom is at once here and not yet.
    The question is do we blame the other, or work towards our own wholeness? If we stay in the blame and shame atmosphere we do not heal, the wound festers. Physician heal thyself…


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